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Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant

Information regarding the Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant.

Sections 2222–2225 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 authorizes the Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) Grant. This competitive grant advances literacy skills through the use of evidence-based practices, activities and interventions, including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing. The grant will serve children from birth through grade twelve, with an emphasis on disadvantaged children, including children living in poverty, English learners, and children with disabilities. The grant also has two priorities: (1) projects that include evidence-based family literacy strategies and (2) projects that increase educational options for groups of students who have traditionally been underserved.

Background Information

The California Department of Education (CDE) was awarded $37.5 million in CLSD grant funds to leverage and expand existing statewide infrastructure, guidance, and expertise to bring coherence to the system of literacy supports to improve student outcomes over a period of five years. Project objectives include:

  • Align local and state literacy initiatives through a coordinated effort to build state and local capacity over the life of the project.
  • Develop and implement an evidence-based comprehensive State Literacy Plan (SLP) that aligns and integrates state literacy initiatives, content standards, and state guidance documents to support teachers of students, birth through grade twelve.
  • Build local capacity to establish, align, and implement local literacy initiatives that emphasize family and community involvement to address the needs of California’s most vulnerable children.

For additional information on the CLSD grant proposal, please see Item 10 of the State Board of Education July 2019 Agenda (DOCX).

The CDE will distribute several regional grant awards to county offices of education to support the project objectives outlined above. In 2021, the CDE will announce a Request for Applications (RFA) to fund the CLSD competitive grant awards. New information and guidance will be added as it becomes available.

State Literacy Plan

A primary objective of the CLSD grant program is to develop and implement a comprehensive SLP that aligns and integrates state literacy initiatives, content standards, and state guidance documents to support teachers of students, birth through grade twelve. Data from the Comprehensive Statewide Literacy Needs Assessment (DOCX), disseminated to all California local educational agencies (LEAs) in December 2019, helped to inform the SLP. The archived Word version of the survey may be used as a local planning tool and the technical assistance webinar External link opens in new window or tab. provides more information about the needs assessment process.

In March and August 2020, the CDE virtually convened a state SLP Team, comprised of educators and literacy experts from across California, to provide input on the initial drafts of the SLP. Learn more about the SLP Team and review meeting presentation materials on the CDE’s SLP Team web page.

The CDE presented the draft SLP to the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) at its September 2020 meeting, with a request to open a public comment and review period. Between September 17 and October 28, 2020, the CDE received 347 distinct comments from 62 individuals and 12 organizations representing students with disabilities, English learners, multilingual learners, teachers, parents, and librarians. At its November 2020 meeting, the IQC reviewed the comments and approved the CDE’s proposed changes to the SLP. For additional information, please read the September and November 2020 IQC items:

The CDE revised the draft SLP based on IQC recommendations to present to the State Board of Education (SBE) in January 2021. Below is a current draft of the SLP.

State Literacy Plan Team

On March 23–24, and August 19–20, 2020, the CDE virtually convened a SLP team comprised of educators and literacy experts across California to provide input on a draft SLP. Learn more about the team and review the presentation provided to them on the CDE’s SLP Team web page.

State Board of Education Agenda Items and Memoranda

All SBE agenda items and memoranda related to the CLSD grant are available on the CLSD SBE Agenda Items and Memos web page.

Program Authorization

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) (see Sections 2222–2225 on pages 172 through 180 of the legislation)

Additional Information

CDE November 4, 2019 News Release

Stay informed on the CLSD grant! Join the CLSD listserv by sending a blank email to: join-california-literacy-state-development-program@mlist.cde.ca.gov

Questions:   Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant Program | CLSDP@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-4630
Last Reviewed: Monday, January 11, 2021